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Pokemon Invades Neighborhood Malls This Summer With New 'Training' League Tournaments; National Tour Features New Pokemon Games and New Ways to 'Catch `Em All'.

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 6, 1999--

Nintendo of America Inc. today announced its nationwide Pokemon(TM) League Summer Training Tour will kick-off at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 10.

The 19-city tour will offer fans across the country a unique opportunity to test their Pokemon Game Boy game characters against other Pokemon enthusiasts in an effort to become a Pokemon Master Trainer. The tour will visit neighborhood malls nationwide from July 10 through September 12.

The tour is the latest element of the nation's favorite frenzy -- Pokemon -- a video game that has spawned an animated feature film set to debut in the U.S. on November 12, and a number of licensed products including trading cards, a best-selling toy line, a new series of children's books, and much more. The Saturday morning animated TV program airing on the WB network is rated number one, while in daily syndication the show is rated number two -- the first show to hold those spots in a decade.(a)

Pokemon fans ages 7 to 14 may participate in fun and interactive Pokemon Game Boy tournaments for one-on-one competitions. Participants must bring their own Game Boy hand-held video game system and either Pokemon Red(TM) or Pokemon Blue(TM) game paks to compete. Fans can also play the Pokemon Pinball(TM) game and view a demonstration of the new Pokemon Yellow(TM) game for Game Boy Color. The highly anticipated Pokemon Snap(TM) for the Nintendo(R) 64 will also be available for game play. Official Pokemon League Summer Training Tour rules are posted on www.pokemon.com

"Up to now, Pokemon fans have honed their training skills to collect and trade their favorite Pokemon. The next phase is `battling' -- friendly competitions between Pokemon characters -- and the only way to ultimately master the game," says Gail Tilden, Nintendo's vice president, product development and acquisition. "The Pokemon League Summer Training Tour is a unique opportunity for kids to share their passion and become true Pokemon experts through hands-on advice."

Post Minneapolis, two tours will kick-off simultaneously, one traveling West and the other through the East coast. The tour will visit 19 cities, each weekend providing hands-on instruction for new players of the original Game Boy game and competition-style Pokemon play for experienced players. The lucky cities include Milwaukee, Chicago, Kansas City (MO), Salt Lake City, Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Dallas, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Bethesda (MD), and New York/New Jersey.

In addition, the Pokemon League Summer Training Tour will have a designated area for trading card enthusiasts to collect, trade and play their favorite Pokemon Card Game. All Pokemon fans will received free gifts, including a collectible poster with all the Pokemon characters, Pokemon stickers and an official Pokemon Tour window sticker.

The Pokemon phenomenon in America began in September 1998 with the release of the original Blue and Red Game Boy games, which have now sold through more than 2.8 million units in the U.S. alone. Pokemon has entertained millions of fans all over the world with a top-rated kids television show, a best-selling toy line, a hugely popular card game and a multitude of licensed products.

Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, is the acknowledged worldwide leader in the creation of interactive entertainment. To date, Nintendo has sold more than one billion video games worldwide, created such industry icons as Mario and Donkey Kong and launched franchises like The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon. Nintendo manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home video game systems, including the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy -- the world's best-selling video game system. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in North America.

For more information about the Pokemon Summer League or any other Nintendo product, visit the company's web site at www.nintendo.com or the official Pokemon web site at www.pokemon.com.

(a) Information taken from a recent Nielsen Rating Report
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Date:Jul 6, 1999
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